The American dream, the right to vote, liberty and freedom, just a few of the things we as American citizens sometimes take for granted, is hard to come by for others.
Today 24 people were awarded that dream as they took an oath of allegiance and officially became U.S. citizens. News 25’s Kristen Durand introduces us to these new proud Americans.
It was a picture perfect moment as the American dream became a reality for 24 people from all over the world. Their journey to American citizenship was completed at the Dan M. Russell United States Courthouse in Gulfport. Uruguay native Guzman Romero was one of them. “It’s just like complete validation. I feel like I’m actually a full part of the country now and it’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Romero was just five-years-old when he and his family moved to Jackson to start a Hispanic mission.
Charmaine Samuels left Jamaica in pursuit of a better life here and for her loved ones back home. “For economic opportunities, we come here, jobs, take care of your family, your kids and friends back home.”
Now U.S. citizens, they are protected by our country’s constitutional rights. The United States district judge who administered the oath of citizenship outlined that they take a joint responsibility with all American citizens in preserving and protecting their new freedom.
“I’m excited, I’m happy, privileged. I am blessed, so blessed,” said Samuels.
Hector Perez, a new American citizen from Mexico, said, “It means to me a lot, it means to me, makes me feel more comfortable. I think I’m going to get more things done. I feel more safe, more part of this country.”